Spring Gardening With Your Dog

Tips & Advice → Spring Gardening With Your Dog


Spring is a great time to get out in the yard with your dog and turn your garden into an oasis for the months to come. As responsible pet owners, we naturally worry about what our curious pups might get into. This spring welcome in the sunshine with these easy-to-follow tips for planting a garden that's colorful, peaceful, and pet-proof. Trupanion's staff veterinarian provides us with her insight below.

Eat (and plant) your vegetables

An easy way to ensure that your garden is full of safe plants is to focus on vegetables. While there are veggies that you'll want to keep your dog away from (hint: beware of onions, chives, leeks and garlic), most spring greens are good to go!

Plant pesticide-free

No matter what you're planting, you'll want to make sure that pesticides aren't involved. Instead of going with inorganic material, deter those pesky pests with natural alternatives. Coffee grounds, beer and salt for slugs, and soap and water can act as natural pesticides.

Focus on the décor

To keep your garden puppy-proof, your best bet is to plant safe decorative plants. While you should always do research before planting anything in your garden, there are many beautiful and common plants that you dog will be safe sniffing. Think about some of these plants as spring begins to bloom:

  • Petunias
  • Primrose
  • Violet
  • Begonia
  • Snapdragons
  • Roses
  • Coral Bells
  • Zinnia

Know and avoid toxic plants

The best thing you can do is avoid planting toxic flora. Fruits such as grapes, cherries and apricots are dangerous to your dog. The same goes for plants such as azaleas, lilies, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. There are probably many plants out there that you're unsure about. If your furry friend gets into anything that worries you and appears to be sick, be sure to contact your veterinarian.

Common spring garden problems

No matter how safe we are when planting our spring gardens, there's always a possibility that your pup might ingest something they shouldn't. While working in the emergency room Trupanion's veterinarian most commonly saw dogs who ingested either slug bait poison or decomposing items from compost piles.

Signs of slug bait ingestion include tremors and convulsions. A dog who ingested something from a compost pile can display similar symptoms, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, or ataxia—this is where your pup may swerve and stumble when it walks. If your pup shows any signs of these conditions, take them to the veterinarian immediately.

Springtime gardening with your pet can be a wonderful and relaxing bonding opportunity. Make sure to do your research, keep your eye on your best friend, and have fun this spring!

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